He said the words "Can't wait!" and now he owns them.
New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott, who introduced "Can't wait!" into the sports lexicon during a celebrated, postgame interview in January with ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, revealed Friday on "ESPN First Take" that he has trademarked the phrase.
"It took on a life of its own," said Scott, appearing as a guest at ESPN the Weekend at Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Fla. "It really took off on ESPN, it took over on YouTube. My wife said, 'You should trademark it.' Once I started to hear people were trying to make T-shirts, I said, 'I tell you what, if anybody is going to benefit off 'Can't Wait', it should be me.' "
Scott said he has yet to make any money from the trademark, joking that any "Can't Wait" T-shirts might have ended up being sent overseas to "keep someone warm" -- a practice used by the NFL with pre-made championship T-shirts for the team that loses the Super Bowl.
Scott blurted his now-famous slogan after the Jets' stunning 28-21 upset of the Patriots in the AFC divisional playoffs. In an on-the-field interview with Paolantonio, he delivered a classic rant, mocking the Jets' critics and claiming the Patriots' defense "can't stop a nose bleed."
When Paolantonio wished him luck against the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, Scott barked: "Can't wait!"
The interview became a YouTube sensation. As of Friday, it had attracted more than 1.2 million views. If the Jets hadn't lost to the Steelers, the "Can't Wait" phenomenon probably would be more profitable to Scott.
On Friday, Scott provided some background to the interview, saying he was trash talking with the Patriots' mascot when a Jets' public relations person asked if he could speak to Paolantonio.
"When he came over, I was arguing with the Patriots' mascot, so he should've known I wasn't in the right frame of mind," Scott said.
Scott became the second Jets player in the past year to trademark a phrase. Cornerback Darrelle Revis last year did the same with "Revis Island."
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.